Feminist Futures in the Indian Ocean Conference

Kelsey McFaul's picture
Call for Papers
January 1, 2020
California, United States
Subject Fields: 
Humanities, Maritime History / Studies, Race Studies, Social Sciences, Women's & Gender History / Studies

Date: May 15-16, 2020  

Location: University of California, Santa Cruz

Deadline: January 1, 2020

Although the Indian Ocean has been conceptualized as a connected space of trade and migration, scholarship has yet to fully engage the material realities of ecologies, subjectivities, memory, the sensorial, the spiritual, and the archival. Scholarship has further unevenly prioritized certain regions and relations within this oceanic space (the Indian sub-continent), while others continue to be marginalized (relationships between the coasts, hinterlands, and archipelagoes of Africa, South Asia, Southeast Asia, and  the Middle East). 

We welcome papers that question silences and erasures within Indian Ocean studies and its archives, and attend to embodied and non-hegemonic forms of knowledge production. How can feminist methods, necessarily connective, comparative and embodied, decenter and decolonize scholarly praxis of the Indian Ocean? How can they further attend to the nuanced relationalities between spaces, times, and disciplines? What might it mean to map the relational links between the Indian Ocean and other oceanic contexts (e.g., the Atlantic, Pacific, Mediterranean, and Caribbean)? We are particularly interested in papers that engage thick transregionalism, multidisciplinary approaches to archives, historical memories of colonialism, racialization, slavery, indenture, and diaspora, and foreground questions of embodiment, performance, and visual and material cultural practices..

Papers might consider any of the following, as well as other related topics:

affect and the sensory

archive(s) and memory

area studies


cultural studies

economies and circulation


environments and ecologies

feminist methodologies

gender and sexualities

histories and afterlives of slavery 

indigenous and diasporic solidarities

materials and materialities

maritime imperialisms

mobility and diaspora

performance and the performative


reflective research praxis


thick transregionalism

transoceanic connections 

visual and material practices


Abstract Submission

We invite abstracts for papers, performances, and other artistic interventions that address any of the above goals and themes. The deadline for paper abstracts is 1 January 2020. Abstract submissions should include your name, institutional affiliation, contact, paper title, an abstract of no more than 250 words, and a brief biographical note. 

To submit your application, follow this link: https://forms.gle/gwNPpDUq6dajjG2s7 

Travel Funding

We are committed to creating an inclusive space for discussion among scholars at the early stages of their careers. The Feminist Futures in the Indian Ocean Conference will offer a limited number of grants to offset travel fees. Please indicate you would like to be considered for a travel grant in the online application. We anticipate awarding a handful of grants between $200-300.

Contact Info: 

For more information about the conference, please contact the conference committee electronically at fiowconf@gmail.com.

Contact Email: